I’m in L&E and want to develop business but am still in a spot where most people who reach out are old classmates likely looking for free legal advice (e.g., question about their employment agreement). How do you all respond to messages asking to set up a call?

For my latest email like this, my current plan is to respond asking for the parties’ names to run a soft conflicts check, and I was thinking about including my hourly rate to make it clear it’s not free. Any tips?

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The way you describe it is exactly right. But I would also note that a lot of BD comes with little free calls and other non-billable nuggets of wisdom on the front end. Once you get that retainer, you can load it up on the back end.

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Yeah, I think that's the best attitude to have. The basic premise is that you're building trust and relationships with the individual with the hopes that one day they will be somewhere that can afford the rates. Besides, you never know what happens to your own career, may be at a smaller / boutique shop in a couple years where the rates are lower 🤷‍♂️.

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